Even though Russell Westbrook did not use up all his eligibility at UCLA, the NBA superstar did not accompany Anthony Grant from the Oklahoma City Thunder to Dayton this past year.
While Westbrook aims for another league MVP award, Grant is back in the Gem City in his first year as the basketball coach at his alma mater, and he is spreading the things he learned as an assistant in the NBA to his new players.
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John Crosby, a junior point guard for the Flyers, confirmed Grant’s experience coaching in the league all players aspire to reach gives his messages for them some extra oomph.
“It gives you a sense of trust. You want to be there. I think every guy on this team wants to play on the NBA or at a higher level overseas, so when he’s giving us (suggestions) of things you can get better at, I think you take it a little more serious because you know he knows what he’s talking about. He’s seen it before,” Ross said.
And will it appeal to current high school recruits?
“Oh yeah, I think any time you come in and you’ve got a guy who can give you that aspect of the game, which everybody gets excited for, ”Crosby said. “You know, the NBA, you hear that and It gets you excited coming from high school.
“Why not want to play for a guy who has that experience and can help you get there?”
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Any influence on the court may have to wait, though.
Grant said he is still learning his team and what makes each player tick.
“I don’t think it’s so much trying to bring the NBA here or anything like that,” Grant said. “I think it’s what our guys need in terms of their progression. My approach is more about where the players are and where we’re trying to get them to and what we need to give them so they can get there.
“We’ll incorporate some things, and I think any coach will tell you, you try to take a little bit from every experience you go through. I know that’s what I try to do.
“I tell our guys we need to live in the moment, be where our feet are, and right now it’s just about every day trying to get a little bit better based on what we did yesterday and what we’re trying to accomplish today.”